For the follow-up to their 2012 album Mōsaïk, ECMA winners Vishtèn went back to the source: the red soil of the Magdalens and Prince Edward Island and their local characters and torchbearers. They took up residencies in their local communities and studied parts of the tradition they had never fully explored to create Terre Rouge.
Emmanuelle studied percussive dance, collaborating with local performers and invited La Bottine Souriante dancer Sandy Silva to PEI. Together, they brought new, rock-inflected beats into flying Acadian footwork, an approach that shines on “Trois Blizzards.”
Pascal worked with master PEI fiddlers to learn more about PEI tradition and how it related to the fiddle music he grew up with on the Magdalens. “Corandina” is a Vishtèn favorite from the islands that got a revamp for the album.
Pastelle dug into mouth music. She turned to Georges Arsenault, a folklorist and historian who had dedicated himself to recording this fast-fading tradition. She listened to his extensive archives, and found herself weaving rhythmic vocal patterns into tunes such has “Coeur en Mer” and “Je vous aime tant.”
Vishtèn has gathered together the fruits of the islands, turning footwork and mouth music, “crooked” fiddle tunes and French ballads into contemporary pieces. Pulling it all together is Montreal producer Éloi Painchaud (Okoumé, Stephen Faulkner).
Raised in the Evangeline region of PEI, co-founders the LeBlanc sisters descended from one of Canada’s earliest Acadian settler families. Pastelle plays piano, mandolin, and accordion while Emmanuelle plays bodhràn, Irish whistle, piano, octave mandolin, and jaw harp. Both also step-dance. Miousse comes from a musical family of Acadian-Aboriginal ancestry from the Magdelen Islands. He was a veteran fiddler, guitarist and mandolin player, by the time he joined Vishtèn.
The ensemble has received seven East Coast Music Award nominations—winning the 2008 and 2013 Francophone Recording of the Year—and three PEI Music Awards for Group of the Year, Roots-Traditional Group of the Year and Francophone Album of the Year. They’ve performed at countless major international festivals and venues, including Festival Interceltique de Lorient in France, Europe’s largest Celtic festival, where they were named the “Revelation du Festival” in 2004.